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Easy Entryways

From beach balls to ice skates, generations of children have looked no further than the front door when disregarding their most valued possessions. No matter what size, your entranceway's convenient location makes it a viable contender for almost every item on your child's outdoor-fun dump list. The catch? You may not be as excited as they are about grouping the words 'foyer' and 'dump.' To compromise, here are a few tricks that'll keep a landfill's worth of gear from filling up your mudroom."

If you live in an apartment, an umbrella stand behind a door can hold long items like bats and hockey sticks. Store balls under beds in a net bag.

Try shaker-style wall pegs or a simple coatrack for quick, organized unloading.

Take off shoes at the door; they'll be easy to find the next morning, and your floors will stay cleaner. Stash them in a large basket, open bin, or a cedar or laminate shoe rack. Or hang a shoe bag inside a hall closet, for hats, scarves, and mittens, as well as shoes.

Use basements, laundry rooms, and vertical space, since this gear can be too bulky to keep in living areas.

Some quick fixes:

* Peg racks keep gear off the floor and out of the way. Use it to hang skates, sneakers, bags

* Backpacks filled with soccer uniforms and protective gear can hang on pegs, ready to go directly to practice and games

* A net laundry bag suspended from hooks neatly holds soccer balls and other large balls

* Hampers or clean trash can corrals rackets, bats, sticks  -- anything tall or oversize

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